Latest Express Entry draws show the positive impact of COVID-19 measures for in-Canada PR applicants
On April 16, 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) held the 11th Express Entry invitation round of 2020. In round #144, Canada issued 3,782 Invitations to Apply to Canadian Experience Class candidates with a score of 455 or more in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The tie-breaking rule for this round was set on January 20, 2020, at 17:37:33 UTC.
This draw follows another program-specific draw from the day before, April 15, aimed at provincial nominee candidates exclusively. Under that draw, 118 candidates were invited and the minimum score was 808.
This is now the 5th consecutive Express Entry draw that has been specific to either candidates who qualify under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or who hold a nomination from a Canadian province/territory under an Express Entry stream. This trend started on March 23, 2020 and is due to the impact of the travel restrictions imposed by the government to control the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The government is doing these draws to be able to continue to allocate spaces to economic immigration programs, yet limiting the invitations to candidates who most likely already physically reside in Canada.
The exclusion of Express Entry candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trade groups has led to a reduction in the minimum CRS score of individuals invited. The positive side of this is that some in-Canada CEC applicants who were uncompetitive in the Express Entry pool before (with scores below 470), are now eligible to receive an Invitation to Apply.
We will have to see during the next few weeks whether these trends continue and whether Express Entry scores continue to drop.
Andrew Carvajal is a Toronto lawyer, partner and Head of Economic Immigration at Desloges Law Group. He specializes in immigration law, administrative law and professional discipline litigation.